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Yeah denduke, I really like those old pics of a cig hanging from a guys mouth with smoke drifting up into his eyes so he has to squint for the camera. LOL

 

Tim, I'm with several others on catching many while fishing bass or walleye. We never used panfish for bait either but caught them on suckers and fatheads. Also caught them on about every artificial I owned at one time or the other. Like said, they seldom get a surface bait on the first try but will usually keep trying until they get themselves hooked. Nasty things. Like Fishboy I've seen them swimming around in clear holding a bluegill or crappie in their mouths. Figured they were waiting for it to quit wiggling before they turned it and ate it.

 

When we were kids we kids we fished behind the old Piggly Wiggly at the dam on Wisconsin River in Wausau WI and we often caught. Per instructions from elders we through them up on the bank and thumped them with rocks or sticks a few times. We'd come back the next day and they'd still be croaking. Nasty things. If I really did want to up my catch on them I go with a good EP 'gill imitation and work it slowly. Since what you're fishing for is so nasty I wouldn't be the least bit concerned about squirting some scent on the fly and keep the retrieve slow.

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Denduke

If it lasted more than 10 years, that was a magnificent construction job! Some of the old Florida Crackers used to make plywood 'boats" to hunt in the Everglades, but they usually didn't make them with a fancy pointed bow.... just basically a square box, and they didn't build them to last.

I never knew any Cajun fishermen in Louisiana to know how they built their pirogues. Thanks for posting yours.

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We had the square pkywood boats with board/seat on each end....not very maneuverable but didn't need to be in the "brakes" in the Arkansas delta. Made'em put them out and left them tied to tree to get back after high water. Had to clean em out and watch for stub tails hiding under them. Paddles were 1x6s most time at least whittled to a handle....careful cigarettes back then coulda been left handed

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When I was growing up, I hunted ducks out of a "boat" made out of two old Ford hoods, around 1940 Fords, welded together, paddled with a 1"x4". It was cheap; it was dangerous; it worked! :) I have owned kayaks since and enjoyed the Ford hood boat, but never owned a real boat.

 

My kayaks can go nearly anywhere, and that is what I love about them.

 

Ray

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"My kayaks can go nearly anywhere, and that is what I love about them."

 

Except distance ... you're limited by how much rowing you can do, wind, waves, etc. But you can get on water too small for anything else.

I keep looking at kayaks ... but it's hard to justify the expense when I already have a boat. I'd only use it once in a while, when I felt like hitting a pond or small lake.

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We paddle miles sometimes, sometimes not. The farthest we have paddled on the coast is 6 miles one way, and the same back. I have friends at Corpus who paddle to the rigs routinely, the closest is 3 miles into the Gulf of Mexico; others they visit are 6 to 8 miles out. And, yes, the wind is a factor, but we go out up to ~25 mph winds and do well.

 

Ray

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I have a special place in my heart for these living dinosaurs. I think they are hard fighters and actually really a very pretty fish after thir own fashion.

 

I use subsurface flies like deceivers and ep minnows. I have had them take top water flies but I have found over and over again that they will chase a fly and it is on the pause that they take the fly. A big clouser or half and half is great because they love to take them on the drop. However I have always seemed to find them in very weedy cover.

 

During the heat of summer you can find them sipping air like a gar will off the top. They will use their air bladder to supplement their oxygen level. So as a kid I would pole around in my jon boat and sight cast to them when they came up.

 

Now they have a hard bony mouth so I have found that the thinner the hook the better. A good trick is to run a stinger hook with a small treble. More often than not the stinger is what gets them.

 

Unlike pike you don't have to throw a huge fly to get the job done. They do however really like flash.

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I have a special place in my heart for these living dinosaurs. I think they are hard fighters and actually really a very pretty fish after thir own fashion.

 

That is the way I feel about alligator gar, beautiful, ancient giants of the fish world. I read an article about a dig in North Dakota, I believe, where they found a dinosaur skeleton and one of an alligator gar; they couldn't figure out if the dinosaur was eating the gar, or the gar was eating the dinosaur after it had died or been killed. The dating was something like 75 million years ago. I think bowfin fit in about the same time range.

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